I imagine we’re all feeling the same wave of emotions only in vastly, varying degrees. When I’m asked “How are you doing?” My response is always crystal clear… “I am fine. Bobby and I are fine. I am just extremely concerned, sad and anxious for those people who aren’t fine.”
My mind bounces from trying to understand how a world economy comes to a halt and what the long term repercussions are; to how are children in abusive family situations surviving; to how are the doctors, nurses and first responders managing their own personal health; to what will be the long term psychological impact that this will have… and on and on.
The best part of my day is going outside for a walk. The first two weeks I logged over two hours a day of hiking and averaged 15,000 steps a day. This is getting harder to navigate with the trails and parks closed. So now I just walk up and down our street. Every day as I step outside, I feel a bit of the weight of sadness lift. Once I get my body moving I actually feel slightly rejuvenated… And then sadness and guilt settle in as I bounce back to wondering how people are coping who can’t go outside, whether because of health reasons, weather, or it’s simply not safe for them. How are the children who are cooped up in a home or apartment coping? How did Anne Frank and her family cope for 761 days (that’s more than two years!) in a 16-foot by 20-foot attic?
So much to contemplate in areas and emotions I’ve never felt and I’m guessing you feel the same.
As you may know if you follow me on Instagram, the best part of my walks is running into the goats around our neighborhood. Every morning I wake to the bleating sounds of goats in our backyard. They are brought in to eat the brush around the homes in preparedness for our next fire season.
Watching the goats and sheep brings about a tremendous wave of comfort. I am immediately taken back to 1964 when I was living with my family in the village in Greece and played with the goats every day. (The three goats on my lap in this photo, I named after my grandmothers, Constandina and Kanella, and my great aunt Eleni?)
I am also comforted by the fact that we are entering into the Passover and Easter season, which reminds me of this passage from Isaiah 26:20 “Go home my people and lock your doors.” Jesus is often referred to as the Lamb of God. Each day I see the goats there seems to be a quiet that envelops me and I start hearing the Bible phrase that I’ve heard often in the past few years:
“Be anxious for nothing and grateful for all things”
The goats are a gentle reminder to be grateful for the things I have and that there are some things that are not only out of my control, but out of my realm of comprehension. The goats remind me to stay the course of resilience in Calmness and Faith. And in the meantime, use this precious time to decompress, and do something each day that compliments the growth that comes from embracing a quiet mind and a faithful heart.